Stored well (not in a shipwreck off Bermuda), wine can certainly improve over time. The key is structure, which means good acidity and, for reds, firm tannins, plus enough fruit to balance those characteristics. Here, five affordable wines perfect for aging:
2014 Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling ($18)
A dry Australian white, it will gain complexity and texture over five to seven years.
2012 Qupé Marsanne ($20)
This California white can be very long-lived—even the 1991 vintage is still lovely. Over time its flavors will evolve from crisp to honeyed and luscious.
2012 Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo ($25)
Vietti makes this floral Nebbiolo from grapes that don’t quite make the cut for its acclaimed Barolos. It should improve for 10 to 12 years at least.
2012 Château d’Aiguilhe ($25)
Outlying appellations like the Côtes de Castillon are the best sources for age-worthy Bordeaux bargains, like this structured red. Put it away for up to 10 years.
2010 Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Reserva ($26)
Murrieta’s plummy, lightly earthy Reserva cellars very well (as does its more pricey Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial). Even now, vintages such as ’94 and ’95 are drinking impressively.